Between a rock and a hard place

Last night at dinner, I overheard a man say that the high price of gas was forcing him to start charging for his once free in-home repair estimates.  Since I was eavesdropping, it didn’t seem appropriate to tell him that I thought he was making a huge mistake.  I would never pay someone to give me a repair estimate—would you?  Even if there are only a fraction of us who wouldn’t pay for an estimate, I am guessing that he can’t afford to lose that fraction of business.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand where he is coming from; we are all trying to think of ways to better our situation.  It just made me realize that there are a lot of financial situations where you are darned-if-you-do and darned-if-you-don’t.  Here are a few financial catch 22s that come to mind.
  • Being asked by a grown child to cosign a loan so that he can move out of your basement.
  • Needing credit to prove that you are creditworthy enough to qualify for credit.
  • Not being able to afford insurance.
  • Cashing your long-term savings to solve a short-term need.
  • Needing a car to get to work and work to afford a car.
  • Being upside down on a house that you can’t afford to live in.
  • Spending money in the hopes of making money.
If you have an example of a financial conundrum, please share it through the comments section.  The folks at the AARP would also like to hear about your dilemma.  In fact, AARP magazine editors are seeking readers with knotty financial situations willing to serve as subjects for upcoming money columns.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

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